Mrs Elizabeth Webster Gow (1873 – 1951)

On 19 January 1943, an oil painting by James Godsell Middleton entitled Jeannie Deans and the Queen was presented by Mrs E. W. Gow, Ardchattan, 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang. Its acquisition number is 2309. 1

Figure 1. Middleton, James Godsell; Jeanie Deans and the Queen;
© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

The frame of the painting bears a tablet with the inscription ‘J. Middleton (Scottish School) Jeannie Deans and the Queen / Lent by Captain Dennistoun’.

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1845 by the artist whose address was 76 Newman Street, London . It carried the caption:

Jeannie Deans begging the life of her sister from Queen Caroline.
“Tear followed tear down Jeannie`s cheeks as, her features glaring and
quivering with emotion, she pleaded her sister`s cause etc. Heart of
Midlothian”, (481). 2

The artist also exhibited the painting at the Royal Scottish Academy the following year with a shortened caption!

Jeannie Deans begging the life of her sister from Queen Caroline,
vide The Heart of Midlothian (136) 3

There was no record of the donation in the Corporation Minutes.

            Elizabeth Webster Waugh (later Mrs. E. W. Gow) was born on 2 June 1873 at 5 East Howard Street, Glasgow. 4 Her father, Robert Waugh, was a storekeeper who married, Elizabeth Chambers, a domestic servant, on 30 September 1870 at Hamilton Street in Motherwell. 5 Elizabeth Waugh was the second of six children of the marriage. In 1881 “Bessie” (Elizabeth) and her family were living at 115 Stirling Road, Glasgow along with four older siblings – children of Robert Waugh`s first marriage to Janet Marshall. Robert Waugh died on 6 July 1888 6 and the family moved to 9 Glebe Street, Glasgow. In 1891, Bessie, aged 17 was a ‘furniture polisher’. 7 (It may have been because of her occupation that she met her future husband Walter Gow who was a house furnisher/furniture dealer).              
Elizabeth`s mother died in 1892 8 and three years later, on 19 March 1895, Elizabeth, aged 21, married Walter Gow who was then 35.  It was Walter`s second marriage. (He had first married Elizabeth Marquis on 29 June 1883 in Glasgow 9. At that time, he was a cabinet maker and upholsterer with an address at 73 Buccleuch Street. However, Elizabeth Marquis “formerly married to Walter Gow” re-married in 1894 10 presumably after she and Walter divorced).

            The marriage to Elizabeth was ‘by declamation’ at 63, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh in the presence of Elizabeth`s sister Margaret and her brother Thomas. According to the marriage certificate Walter Gow was a bachelor whose occupation was ‘cabinet maker’. He gave his address as ‘The Grand Hotel, Charing Cross, Glasgow’. 11 (Walter Gow`s father Joseph was also a cabinet maker and had originated the family business of ‘J. Gow and Sons’, house furnishers. In 1899 the business was based at 187 (later 175) Trongate, 12).

                    After their marriage, Walter and Elizabeth moved to ‘Glenholm’ a large house at 31 Hamilton Drive, Cambuslang.13,14 The marriage did not produce any children. However, by 1911 Walter and Elizabeth had adopted Mosina (Ina) Mills the daughter of Elizabeth`s sister Annie and were living in Hamilton Drive along with Elizabeth`s older sister Margaret and one servant. Walter was a house furnisher and employer. 15

                    By 1927 Walter and Elizabeth had moved to ‘Ardchattan’, 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang. The business was now based at 11 Hope Street. 16 (The name of the house would have derived from Walter`s interest in Clan or Family History. In 1898, he had been a subscriber to a book concerning the history of Clan Chattan.17 Gow is one of the minor Septs of Clan Chattan).

On 30 April 1929 Elizabeth`s niece and adopted daughter Ina, married Alexander Stephen, a fishery officer from Peterhead, in Glasgow Cathedral.18

 Walter Gow died aged 76, on 26 March 1936 at 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang and was buried in East Kilbride Cemetery. 19 He left an estate valued at £100,111:18s:7d.20 Elizabeth inserted “In Memoriam” notices in the Glasgow Herald each year from 1937 to 1951 (apart from 1949 and 1950) in memory of her husband.

For example, the following appeared in the ‘In Memoriam’ column of the Glasgow Herald, on 26 March 1943:

            GOW. In loving memory of my beloved husband Walter Gow, J.P., who died on
26th March 1936. Inserted by Mrs Gow, “Ardchattan”, Cambuslang”

Elizabeth moved from Cambuslang to 29 Newlands Road in 1945 or 1946 and in the following year to ‘White Croft’, Barrhead. (Taken from Glasgow Herald, In Memoriam Columns.) Sometime between 1948 and 1951 she moved to ‘Glengyron’, Whitecraigs in Renfrewshire.

Elizabeth Gow died aged 78 at ‘Glengyron’, 38 Ayr Road, Whitecraigs on 21 August 1951 21. She was buried beside her husband in East Kilbride Cemetery on 24 August.22

The business of J. Gow and Sons was still operating from 11 Hope Street in 1964 23.


  1. Glasgow Museums Record of Donations
  2. Graves, Algernon, The Royal Academy of Arts; a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904, H. Graves and Co., London, 1905.
  3. Object File at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  4. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  5. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  6. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  7., Scotland Census 1891,
  8. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  9. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  10. ibid
  11. ibid
  12. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1899-1900
  13. Cambuslang Suburban Directory, 1900/01
  14. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1902/03 till 1920/21
  15. Scotland`s People, Census 1911.
  16. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1927/8.
  17. Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, of Drummond, An Account of the Confederation of Clan Chattan: Its Kith and Kin; The Minor Septs of Clan Chattan. J. Mckay, Glasgow, 1898
  18. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  19. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  20. Confirmations and Inventories, Mitchell Library
  21. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  22. Glasgow Herald, Deaths, August 22, 1951, page 1.
  23. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1966-67

Mrs Anna Walker (1866-1948)

On 11th October 1948 the following 3 paintings were presented to Kelvingrove Galleries from Mrs Anna Walker’s Trust, per Messrs. Inglis Glen and Co., 223 West George St., Glasgow, C2:

On 11October 1948 the following three paintings were presented to the Kelvingrove Galleries from Mrs Anna Walker’s Trust, per Messrs. Inglis Glen and Co., 223 West George Street, Glasgow, C2:

  1. A Bunch of Flowers, an oil painting by Victor Vincelet (1840-1871).
  2. Peonies, a watercolour by Andrew Allan (1905-1982).
  3. Cathedral Interior, a watercolour by James Holland (1799-1870).

When a female donor makes a donation using only her married name and with no other details, it is difficult to find out much information about her. Our donor is a prime example of this. Apart from her name and the pictures that she donated to the Gallery, there is no other information. However, what was obvious about her was her enthusiasm for flowers which is very clear from the above two paintings that were presented to Kelvingrove Gallery (See 1 and 2).

Figure 1. A Bunch of Flowers, an oil painting by Victor Vincelet (1840-1871) © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (
Figure 2. Peonies, watercolour by Andrew Allan (1905-1982) © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

As the search started, it was clear that it would be expedient to write something about the historical background. This was the mid- Industrial Revolution age which saw tremendous social changes as well as certain scientific awareness and discoveries which affected everybody in this country as well the whole world.

The Industrial   Revolution took hold in Glasgow at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Linen was Scotland’s premier industry in the eighteenth century but at the beginning of the nineteenth century the manufacture of cotton and textiles increased rapidly. Immigrants from the Highlands in the 1820s and from Ireland in the 1840s formed the workforce.  The city then diversified into heavy industries like shipbuilding, locomotive construction and other heavy engineering that could thrive on nearby supplies of coal and iron ore. Between 1870 and 1914, Glasgow ranked as one of the richest and finest cities in Europe. [1]

As all this industrialisation was going on, it was clear that certain breathing spaces of the City must be built in the form of parks and botanic gardens as the lungs of the City.  Thomas Hopkirk, a distinguished Glasgow botanist, had founded the Botanic Gardens in 1817 with the support of a number of local dignitaries and the University of Glasgow. [2] The Gardens were originally laid out on an 8-acre site at Sandyford at the western end of Sauchiehall Street (at that time on the edge of the city). The Royal Botanical Institution of Glasgow owned and ran the Gardens.  They agreed to provide the University of Glasgow with teaching aids, including a supply of plants for medical and botanical classes. It is worth noting that one of the future famous plant-hunters, David Douglas, who was born at Scone near Perth, had taken up a post at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in 1820.  

Professor Hooker, who was Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University in 1820 and later became the first official director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1865, took a great liking to Douglas and the two men made a number of botanical trips together to the Scottish Highlands while Hooker was writing his book Flora Scotica. It was on Hooker’s recommendation that the Horticultural Society (not yet ‘Royal’) employed Douglas in 1823 as an explorer. It should be noted here that when David Douglas was exploring North-West America in the 1830s, he sent home seeds of Pseudotsuga, now commonly known as the Douglas Fir. David Douglas had also introduced more than 200 species of plants to gardens in Europe. [3]

Until the 1840s Glasgow’s West End consisted of open countryside, isolated farmhouses and the country dwellings of Glasgow’s most wealthy citizens. The completion of the Great Western Road and the re-location of the Botanic Gardens to the Kelvinside Estate in the early 1840s was the catalyst for a rapid change to the character of the area. [4] The Botanic Gardens and Glasgow Green are prime examples of these developments of the time.   ln 1852 the Council purchased some land from the Kelvingrove and Woodlands estate to create an area which is now Kelvingrove Park and which was to be the new home for the famous Kibble Palace. [5]

There was definitely some desire to experiment growing and cultivating new breeds of plants brought in by scientists and other enthusiasts from the faraway lands of India, China, Japan and the Americas. These plants were either acquired in seed form or as complete plants to the newly established Horticultural Society and the like.

This enthusiasm for bringing plants from faraway lands continued into the beginning of the twentieth century, when we meet our donor Mrs Anna Walker.

She was on holiday in Northern Italy, when she accidentally discovered a heather. It was propagated by her gardener Robert Howieson-Syme and it was then sent to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley and in 1925 named by F.J Chittenden, the then Director of the RHS. Initially, this new variety of heather was called Springwood which was the name of the house in Stirling where Anna lived with her husband. Later it was named Springwood White on the appearance of another variant called Springwood Pink by F. J. Chittenden in 1925. [6] The preferred name for the plant is Erica Carnea f1  Alba  Springwood White. [7] It is remarkable that our donor Mrs Anna Walker had discovered her heather at a time when the main part of the Industrial Revolution had ended. Furthermore, World War I was over. However, the endeavour for the appreciation and growing plants from foreign lands was still alive.

The above information obtained from the article in the Heather Society [8] was the key to discovering the identity of our donor Anna Walker – her age, date of birth and her family’s details. In the 1881census [9], Anna was 14 years old and described as a scholar. She was born in 1866 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Her father, William Gibson, born in 1841, was a cloth merchant and her mother Isabella S. Gibson was born in 1844. In the same census record, it is recorded that she had a brother George who was 10 and a sister Jeannie T. who was 12. The Gibson Family lived in 1 Burnbank Gardens, Glasgow, Barony Lanarkshire with two servants.

Anna Gibson married Ralph Wardlaw Thomson Walker, a ship broker in 1890 in the Glasgow district of Partick. [10] Also in the 1891 census [11] it is recorded that the Gibson family was living in Doune, Perthshire in Castle Bank Cottage. Ralph WT Walker is shown to be in the same dwelling with his now wife, Mrs Anna Walker. Furthermore, the same household appears to have a guest, William Linklater, a minister of the Free Church in their house.

Our donor’s husband, Ralph W.T. Walker, was born in 1865. His father’s name was Robert Walker and his mother’s name was Mary Ann (Donaldson). The couple lived for a time in 3 Bruce Street Glasgow where Ralph had lived and had been living for a few years before he married.  In the 1891 census [12], Anna’s brother George Gibson is described as a mercantile shipping clerk.

In the 1901 census [13], Mr and Mrs Walker are shown to be living in 4 Athole Gardens at Partick Burgh, Glasgow. Ralph’s profession is now recorded as ship owner. This is a large house and our donor Mrs Anna Walker now employed two servants – one as a table maid domestic and the other as a cook domestic. There is an impression that Mr and Mrs Walker were keen travellers, because apart from their travel to Italy in the 1920s, both of their names also appear on the First Class passenger list of the ship Duchess Of Atholl belonging to the Canadian Pacific Line bound to a West Indies cruise from the port of Greenock on 30 January 1930. [14]

Our couple stayed in Athole Gardens until 1915 and then moved to Stirling .  The name of the house is Springwood and is B-listed. It was built about 1870 and they lived there from the early twentieth century until Anna died on the 24 July 1948. Earlier, Ralph had died there too in 1943.

In the Glasgow Herald of the 26 July 1948 there was a notice [15] which is printed below:

 At Springwood Stirling on the 24th July 1948 Anna, wife of late Ralph W.T.Walker, ship owner.  Funeral private.  No Flowers.


 [3] ibid
[5] op.cit [1]
[7] Correspondence from  Mr Chris Moncrieff, Head of Horticultural Relations, Royal Horticultural Society
 [8] op.cit [6]
[9] 1881 census
 [10] Marriage Cert. from Scotland’s People.
 [11] 1891 Census
[12] ibid
[13] 1901 Census
[14] West Indies Cruise, UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960 for Ralph W T Walker
[15] Glasgow Herald of the 26 July 1948, Anna’s death notice.


Carola Florence Yapp (nee Stanuell)

On the 18 October 1950, three oil paintings were presented to Glasgow by Mrs Carola Yapp of 14 Clareville Court, Clareville Grove, London, S.W.7.

The paintings were an oil by Cora J. Gordon (1879 – 1950), France – The Village on the Hills (2685) and two oils by Jan (Godfrey Jervis) Gordon (1882 – 1944) – The Melon Guzzlers (2866) and The Gypsy Singer (2867).

Gordon, Cora Josephine, 1879-1950; France: The Village on the Hills
Figure 1. Gordon, Cora Josephine; France: The Village on the Hills; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Gordon, Jan (Godfrey Jervis), 1882-1944; The Melon Guzzlers
Figure 2. Gordon, Jan (Godfrey Jervis); The Melon Guzzlers. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Gordon, Jan (Godfrey Jervis), 1882-1944; The Gipsy Singer
Figure 3. Gordon, Jan (Godfrey Jervis); The Gipsy Singer. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

“There was submitted a letter from Mrs. Carola Yapp offering two paintings by Jan Gordon and one by Cora Gordon as gifts to the Corporation. There was also submitted a report by the Director and the committee agreed that the paintings be accepted and that an expression of thanks be conveyed to the donor”.1

Carola Florence Stanuell was born in Dublin on the 6 August 1893. She was the second child of Charles Athill Stanuell, a Dublin solicitor, and Ida Marion Turner. Ida who was from Buxton in Derbyshire was the elder sister of the artist Cora Gordon.2 In addition to being a solicitor, Carola`s father was also a wealthy landowner and was secretary of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland from 1913 to 1917. At the census of 31 March 1901 the family was living at 7 Clyde Road, Pembroke West in Ballsbridge, a well-to-do area on the south side of Dublin. The household consisted of Charles aged 48, Ida, 32 and their two daughters, Dorothy Helen 8 and Carola Florence 7 and three servants.3

On the 18 December 1918 Carola Stanuell married Charles Peter Yapp a lieutenant in the Bedfordshire Regiment in St. Bartholomew’s Church on Clyde Road, Dublin where Carola had lived as a child.4 After their marriage the regiment was posted to India where the couple remained for about four years. On 23 September 1922 they arrived back in Plymouth having sailed from Bombay. Charles’ occupation on the ship’s manifest was “army” while Carola’s was “domestic”. He was 27 she was 29. They took up residence in Great House Court, East Grinstead.5

In 1928 Carola gave birth to a son Peter Michael Stanuell Yapp in Kensington, London.6 From about 1932 till World War II, the family lived at Flat 5, 16 Emperor’s Gate, Kensington with Carola’s sister Dorothy Helen (and briefly, her mother Ida Marion) residing with them.7 After the war Charles, Carola and Peter moved to 14 Clareville Court.

After Carola’s husband Charles died in London in 1955 aged 59 8 her sister Dorothy moved in with her. By this time her son Peter had married and was living in Kingston, Jamaica and on 23 May 1958 Carola sailed from London to visit Peter and his wife Rita. Her address in the UK on the ship`s manifest was White House Hotel, Earls Court, London. She is listed as having “no occupation”.9 The visit seems to have gone well with Rita subsequently describing her mother-in-law as “a very sweet lady”.10

Carola Yapp
Figure 4. Carola Yapp. Courtesy of her daughter-in-law, Rita Yapp.

After spending some months in Kingston she flew to La Porte, Texas on 5 August, 1958 and then on to Miami. Her address was Stewart House, London.11 Returning to Kingston she sailed to London arriving on 26 September 1958. Her address was now West Heath Road, Hampstead and her occupation “housewife”.12

Carola Florence Yapp died on 24 July 1971 aged 78 in Hendon, Greater London.13

It remains a mystery as to why these three paintings were donated to Glasgow by a woman who was born in Dublin and spent most of her life in London. Jan Gordon died in 1944 and when Cora Gordon died six years later their paintings and artefacts appear to have been dispersed. There is a possibility that before her death Cora had asked her niece Carola to gift the three paintings to Glasgow because of a prior connection to the city 14 although nothing was mentioned specifically in her will. In any event the paintings were duly presented to Glasgow three months after Cora’s death.



  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 18th October 1950 – Mitchell Library, Glasgow
  2. e.g., Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1963; See also
  3. National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census
  4. Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958
  5., UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878 -1960
  6. Family Search, England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008
  7. ancestry,, London Electoral Registers 1832 – 1965
  8., England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
  9., UK Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
  10. Personal communication via Ken Bryant
  11., Florida Passenger Lists 1898-1963
  12., UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878 – 1960
  13., England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1995
  14. Suggestion from Ken Bryant. Ken has spent many years researching the life and works of Jan and Cora Gordon. He still keeps in touch with some members of the family including Rita Yapp.